The name "Stuart crystal" derives from the jewelry made and worn by loyalists to the Stuart monarchy after the execution of King Charles I in 1649. These Royalists memorialized the martyred king by wearing jewelry with his likeness, a lock of his hair, or his initials rendered in gold wire cipher, set under flat-topped faceted rock crystal (ergo "Stuart crystal"). This jewelry, though originally aligned with support of the monarchy, over time became more personal in nature, and the later examples might feature the cipher or hair of the owner. These earrings are a beautiful example of the style, they feature pink foiled backings with a square of plaited hair surmounted by a gold wire cipher set under rock crystal. Originally these earrings were probably the pendants of a pair of drop earrings. They appear to have been converted into shorter earrings at some point in the 18th or early 19th century judging by the style of the high karat back-to-front wires.
silver, 22k gold wires (tests), crystal, pink foil, hair, gold thread ciphers
Very good - these were probably the pendant bottoms of a pair of drop earrings converted into shorter earrings at some point in the 18th or early 19th century judging by the back to front style ear wires and karat of gold used (22k)
1/2" length measured from the top of the wire, 1.43cm x 1.11cm crystals
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